MOH News
Health Advices for Diabetics in Ramadan
05 July 2014
Dr. Eman Shisha, the Consultant in Endocrinology and Diabetes, has highlighted that fasting triggers a social and behavioral change in people's lives, the matter which might affect patients with chronic diseases, mainly diabetics who suffer health problems due to fasting. "So, patients with diabetes must consult their treating physician, particularly those with type 1 diabetes who use insulin, suffer disorders in the glucose level and who are vulnerable to developing ketoacidosis. Those people are generally advised not to fast as the Quran says: So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] - then an equal number of days [are to be made up]," she said. As for patients with type-2 diabetes, who go on a diet and take sugar reducing tablets in their treatment, Dr. Shisha said that fasting is useful for them -Allah willing.
 
Likewise, Dr. Shisha advised diabetics to cut the number of meals in Ramadan to two meals interspersed by a smaller meal, compared to three meals interspersed by three smaller meals in the ordinary days. She further noted that treatment must be amended according to the ingredients of meals in Ramadan, stressing the importance of not having dates, which are very common on the breakfast table during Ramadan, in addition to all types of juices, fried food, particularly Samosa, and other desserts rich in fat and carbohydrates.
 
This came while hosting of Dr. Eman Shisha, the Consultant in Endocrinology and Diabetes, at the Media and Health Awareness National Center of the Ministry of Health (MOH), within the context of the annual awareness campaign launched annually by the MOH during the Holy Fasting Month of Ramadan under the theme: "Hello, Healthy Ramadan". Through this Program, the Center hosts a constellation of consultant physicians and specialists in all fields via the toll-free number: 8002494444, and the Ministry's Twitter account: @SAUDIMOH to help fasting people, especially those with diseases, to perform this Islamic pillar without any health problems – Allah willing.
 
Within the same vein, Dr. Shisha has advised diabetics to change their regimen in Ramadan under the supervision of the treating physician as sidestepping medical consultation in this regard might expose the patient to a severe decline or increase in the blood glucose levels during Ramadan. "Diabetics who are taking tablets in their treatment must consult their treating physicians to make sure that they can fast safely, while those who are taking one dose of insulin can fast provided that the dose is taken prior to the breakfast. For those who are using frequent insulin doses, it's better to consult their treating physician to permit them to fast if possible, and adjust their insulin doses according to the meals," she confirmed.
 
Wrapping up her speech, Dr. Shisha has explained that the physical activity during fasting might cause a low glucose level. She has advised diabetics to break their fasting immediately after feeling symptoms of a low glucose level in the blood, including shiver, feeling cold, sweating, dizziness and sugar level less than 60 mg/dl or equal to 70 mg/dl at the beginning of the day. She also advised those who feel symptoms of a high glucose level in the blood, including severe urination, thirst, dryness, and sugar levels more than 300 mg/dl, to break their fasting immediately and contact their treating physician and the nutrition specialist to take the proper advice in this regard.
 
 
 
 



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